A new study from Columbia University featured in Education Next analyzes a recent New York City Department of Education (DOE) policy that tested whether merit pay for all teachers at an effective school could increase student achievement.
The city’s School-Wide Performance Bonus Program, launched in 2007 and endorsed by both the DOE and the teachers union, was implemented in a randomly selected subset of the city’s most disadvantaged schools. Researchers examined data from the first two years of the bonus program, in which teachers received bonuses based on overall performance of all tested students in their school, rather than just in their own classrooms. According to proponents, this design can minimize conflict and foster cooperation among teachers.
In fact, researchers found little effect overall, positive or negative. Read more.
Do Teacher Bonuses Lead to Overemphasis on Test Taking?
The federal government is behind the program with $36 million in funding for 14 school districts across the state. But a new poll shows Tennesseans think otherwise about this kind of incentive pay for teachers.
A Vanderbilt University statewide poll shows 65 percent of Tennesseans do not favor paying teachers whose students do well on tests more than teachers whose students do poorly. Only 35 percent of residents support paying bonuses to teachers whose students do well on tests.
The poll results may be the upshot of parents’ not wanting to see schools so focused on standardized testing.